Petrol fill-ups emptying pockets faster

Motorists across Australia are being urged to fill up now or face the cost of being patient as fuel prices are set to soar above a four-year high.

Unleaded prices at some petrol stations, at the time this piece was written, in Sydney and Brisbane peaked above 160 cents per litre, which other retailers kept their costs at just under 140 cents a litre.

Commenting on recent fuel price hikes in Queensland, RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said, “Fuel companies including the likes of Caltex, Caltex/Woolworths and BP are starting to hike their prices, and although a sharp increase is a part of the south east Queensland petrol price cycle, there’s no reason for them to be charging this much.

“There are inflated margins right across the supply chain, refiner margins are about 4cpl higher than we’d like to see. At a local level, it’s outrageous to think at 161.9cpl retailers are taking indicative retail margins of 25cpl.”

Ms Smith said a rise in the global price of oil has had an impact on Queensland petrol prices, but not by this much.

“A number of factors, including the US’ decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and tensions in the Middle East, have caused the global oil price to jump in recent weeks,” Ms Smith said.

“The increase in the oil price is not enough, though, for fuel companies to hit motorists with prices such as 161.9cpl.”

Ms Smith said the current Brisbane average was 139.7cpl and drivers should fill up today while cheap fuel is still available.

“About three-quarters of Brisbane retailers are still charging at or below the cheap price of 140cpl so, if you see this price, make sure you fill up today – we just don’t know when we’ll see prices this low again,” she said.

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